Director Peter Jackson brings last ‘Hobbit’ film to China

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

A check in with the financials of ‘The Hobbit: BOTFA’.

A Hobbit fan who felt that the trilogy’s length prevented it from being as good as it could be has taken matters into their own hands and come up with a shortened version.The final part of the “Lord of the Rings” prequel series “The Hobbit,” directed by Peter Jackson, gives a fine ending to the fantasy saga, despite unavoidable comparisons with the more spectacular trilogy that preceded it. “The Battle of the Five Armies” brings to a close this epic sojourn to Middle-earth, a realm threatened by various conflicts between races, as well as by monstrous forces seeking conquest.

Going by the name tolkieneditor, the anonymous film buff decided that The Hobbit was too bloated to add to his annual Lord of the Rings viewing marathon, and so spent a weekend cutting Peter Jackson’s films into a single four hour-long epic. Surviving them is the hobbit burglar, Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), who has fought and fled from such dangers alongside staunch allies, in two previous films. The Pale Orc subplot was trimmed, the prelude with old Bilbo cut, and several Laketown scenes, orc skirmishes and battle sequences were excised, along with “filler scenes” such as a four-minute-long attempt to buy fish. The titular dragon Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) gets to unleash chaos on the world, cutting a fiery swath across a town in a neighboring territory.

Jackson can get on with his “Tin Tin” movie and maybe my wish that he will write and direct a World War I zombie film with 100 percent practical effects in conjunction with Weta Workshop can happen. A land dispute is introduced, as the dragon’s treasure-filled mountain castle is reclaimed by the dwarves, led by the now-ensorcelled Thorin (Richard Armitage).

If you didn’t hear, another Warner Bros. movie, “American Sniper” assassinated the January box office records in the U.S. while the final Hobbit film slid to eighth place after 30-some days of release. Polling several Academy voters a few years ago, Breznican says the franchise may have lost steam after the tepid reception of 2012’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” which may have been unfairly compared to “Return of the King.” “From that point forward, even though screeners went out to voters and attempts were made by the studio to garner Oscar attention, the ‘Hobbit’ movies just fell outside the realm of consideration, it just wasn’t one of those kind of movies,” says Breznican. “It was considered more of a populist film than a prestige film.” And the “Hobbit” trilogy’s populist success is more than a token consolation prize for Tolkien enthusiasts. The last movie has earned $784 million worldwide at the box office to date. “There are things in the movie, that whether they are recognized or not by the Academy, will be making their way into other films in the future,” he says. With every new sequel, a legion of devils get their wings; but Hollywood doesn’t care.) One big market, a dragon of a market if you will, China, hasn’t opened the film yet and so that non-U.S. total is expected to reach past $700 million. Still, this is a defining chapter for many of the characters in the “Hobbit” series, giving this worthy prequel films its own memorable figures and clashes.

And “Five Armies” is accessible in that it offers interesting parallels to real-life struggles, from the “interracial” attraction between the elf archer Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) and the dwarf Kili (Aiden Turner), to the territorial dispute initiated by Thorin. Now, it is nothing but an arbitrary mark and a game, but something satisfies our lizard brains to know the film made 1/28th of what Bill Gates has donated to charity. Coming full circle, the series is bookended by a scene that connects to the first lauded “Rings” trilogy, reiterating the poignant finality of this much-appreciated saga. This film was tracking ahead of the previous one, that finished just more than $700 million, so it is going to be very close, but I can’t find the complete data and my bed calls.

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